Irving v. Lipstadt

Transcripts

Holocaust Denial on Trial, Trial Transcripts, Day 23: Electronic Edition

Pages 116 - 120 of 237

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    Did you find any support for this homicidal intent by
 1Adolf Hitler in the Hungarian version of this meeting?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Ah, right. This is on pages 443 to 446 of my report,
 3these are much less explicit, though they do not say what
 4you claim that they say.
 5 Q. [Mr Irving]     What we are looking for is some reference in the Hungarian
 6record to killing Jews. "Adolf asked us to kill our Jews
 7and we put up a strong fight against it", is there
 8anything in that sense?
 9 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, the Hungarians were very careful about being
10explicit about this.
11 Q. [Mr Irving]     Why should they have had to be?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Horthy, Horthy put in -- drafting a letter with the
13phrase -- and we are back to "ausrotten" here again, "Your
14Excellency", writing back, it was a follow up to the Nazi
15leaders, "further approached me that my government did not
16proceed in the extermination or extirpation of Jewry with
17the same radicalism with which this had been carried out
18in Germany". That is also regarded -- desired for other
19countries too, but in fact he crossed that out. He
20thought that was really too blunt and too brutal.
21 Q. [Mr Irving]     Does this indicate that Hitler and Ribbentrop told Horthy
22about the radicalism that they were carrying out the
23operation in German?
24 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     That seems to have been the case, yes, on the 17th April.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     Is there any hint of that in Schmidt's report of their
26meeting that they had this lengthy disquisition to the

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 1Hungarians on how they were killing all the Jews?
 2 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes, now on the 17th, when Horthy says again "what should
 3he do with the Jews" after he had pretty well taken all
 4means of living from them, because Horthy was anti-semitic
 5too, although in a somewhat less extreme sense than
 6Hitler. "He surely could not beat them to death", the
 7Reichs Foreign Minister replied that "the Jews must either
 8be annihilated or taken to concentration camps, there was
 9no other way". The alternative given there, that is
10footnote 8, page 441, and the alternative given there
11makes it quite clear what "vernichten" means, it means
12"killed".
13 Q. [Mr Irving]     So the word that is used there is "vernichten" again
14annihilated?
15 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes. He cannot be talking about anything else. He gives
16the alternative, it is a sort of alternative of "work" or
17"death" again.
18 Q. [Mr Irving]     You have read the entire Nuremberg transcript of the
19examination and cross-examination of Ribbentrop and
20Schmidt on the Horthy meeting?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
22 Q. [Mr Irving]     Was there any admission at any point by either of those
23people, either by Ribbentrop or the interpreter, that
24there had been talk of annihilating in the murderous
25sense, the homicidal sense?
26 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     This statement by Ribbentrop was regarded by the

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 1prosecution as an extremely damning piece of evidence,
 2that Ribbentrop had been responsible for mass murder and
 3therefore Ribbentrop, of course, in his own interests
 4disputed this.
 5 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Standing back from the documents, this is the
 6Germans really soliciting Horthy to agree to the Hungarian
 7Jews being transported to the General Government?
 8 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Yes.
 9 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Looking at it, as it were, from Horthy's point of view,
10what would he have thought that the Nazis' interest in
11doing that was?
12 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     He is trying to find out, my Lord, and this is why he is
13asking repeatedly, "surely, you do not want to beat them
14to death? You do not want kill them?" I have done
15everything that I can, he says.
16 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     What other motive would the Nazis have in relation to
17Hungarian Jews?
18 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     None that I can imagine, my Lord. They certainly do not
19say that they want to take them away for labour.
20 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Labour would be the alternative?
21 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Would be the only other possible motivation that they
22could have. But it is quite clear here they have got to
23be annihilated or taken to concentration camps. And the
24whole language which is used, "bacilli" and giving a
25humane death to wild animals and so on makes it quite
26clear what they are talking about.

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 1 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Yes, but I was thinking, leaving aside the documents, what
 2the sort of thinking must have been on the two sides, the
 3Nazi and the Hungarian side?
 4 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     From Horthy's point of view, of course, he did, in fact,
 5deport non-Hungarian Jews who were then killed. But he
 6objected on grounds of sovereignty to Hungarian Jews, his
 7Jews, as it were, even though he put all sorts of legal
 8discriminations on them to being taken away by a foreign
 9power.
10 Q. [Mr Justice Gray]     Sorry, Mr Irving.
11 MR IRVING:     Right, now I have to ask you two very clear
12questions following up on his Lordship's very
13well-informed questions; it is true that the Nazis not
14only wanted Hungarians as slave labour, but they also
15perceived (this is not evident from the Schmidt
16transcripts) the very large Jewish population of Budapest
17and the environments of Hungary as being a serious
18security problem within the boundaries of Hitler's empire,
19if you can put it like, that they regarded the Jewish
20population in Hungary as being a serious security threat
21or problem; is that right?
22 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Let us have a look. Where can we see this? Where does he
23say this? I am not disputing it, I just want to know what
24passage you are referring to in the Schmidt's minutes.
25 Q. [Mr Irving]     I am going to come back after lunch to that if I may, my
26Lord, because I spent a great deal of yesterday evening

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 1reading through the entire memoranda and also the
 2interrogations that Schmidt conducted by the US State
 3Department which I still have in my files here. There is
 4no reference to this kind of homicidal conversation going
 5on in the interrogations.
 6 MR JUSTICE GRAY:     Yes, well, speaking for myself, I do not find
 7that all that surprising, but it would be interesting if
 8Schmidt does record some other reason for wanting to get
 9rid of the Hungarian Jews.
10 MR IRVING:     That I will try and elicit today, my Lord, but
11there is one final question I would like to ask before we
12adjourn and this is following.
13     (To the Witness) Is there any reason why in
14their own internal foreign ministry memoranda in Budapest
15the Hungarians would have had to use euphemisms to conceal
16what they perceived the Germans were going to do with the
17Hungarian Jews? Is not likely that they would have been
18brutally frank to their own officials in saying "what is
19this madman Hitler up to now? He is going to take our
20Jews away from us and liquidate them. We have to stop it
21however we can". Is that not the kind of memorandum you
22would expect to find and have you found such memorandum?
23 A. [Professor Richard John Evans]     Well, the memoranda you are referring to I think is a
24report by the Hungarian representative in Berlin to the
25Prime Minister in Budapest, which you say summarized the
26talks between Hitler, Horthy, and Ribbentrop and said that

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